Home Trading strategies MACD Histogram Trading Strategy in 2024 (Rules, Setup, Backtest, Example)

MACD Histogram Trading Strategy in 2024 (Rules, Setup, Backtest, Example)

Let’s test a MACD-histogram trading strategy.

This article looks at the MACD-histogram. For a primer on this indicator please read this article:

I’m trading some strategies based on mean reversion on a sample of 77 ETFs. Those ETFs are the most liquid ones. One of the strategies I trade is based on MACD-Histogram.

It’s a popular indicator I have tweaked a little bit. On a per trade basis, this is one of the best strategies I have. I have tweaked this one a little bit to the following:

MACD histogram trading strategy (Trading Rules)

We describe the trading rules both in plain English and by using a chart:

  1. The MACD Histogram bar must have fallen 4 days in a row.
  2. The fourth latest bar must have been below zero.
  3. The current close of the ETF must be lower than the day before.

Entry is on the close. The exit is on the first day when the close is higher than the day before. Here is an example (exit was on the close the day after because the ETF rose in price):

MACD histogram trading strategy

For short it is vice versa. However, long is a lot better than short. In general, short is a lot more difficult to trade.

In total, this strategy has generated 6669 trades on my portfolio of 77 ETFs.

This diagram shows the average gain per trade since 2000. Among those 77 ETFs hardly any is negative:

MACD histogram trading strategy backtest

From month to month we get the following bar chart:

MACD histogram trading strategy trading rules

I think this is a pretty good result. Assuming one can only trade a maximum of ten positions at a time as a portfolio, we get this equity curve:

MACD histogram trading strategy setup and performance

This strategy is in cash most of the time! This strategy can be one of several if swing trading. This proves that a very simple strategy can be very efficient.


The MACD-histogram trading strategy works pretty well as a mean-reversion system. You can probably make some twists to it and make it even better.


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– Why is the MACD-histogram a popular indicator for traders?

The MACD-histogram is popular among traders because it helps identify changes in momentum and potential reversal points in the market.

– What are the entry and exit points for the MACD-histogram strategy?

The entry point for this strategy is on the close, and the exit point is on the first day when the close is higher than the previous day’s close.

– How does the MACD-histogram strategy perform with long and short positions?

The MACD-histogram strategy is more efficient with long positions, and short positions are generally more challenging to trade.